Basketball, Sports

George Washington stuns Terriers at the buzzer, 64-63

George Washington University’s Javier Langarica only made one field goal against the Boston University men’s basketball team on Wednesday night.

Senior forward Max Mahoney, shown in a Nov. 16 game against the University of New Hampshire, has been Boston University’s leading scorer this season. RACHEL SHARPLES/ DFP FILE

That shot also happened to win the game for GW.

With three seconds left, GW chucked up a desperation shot that bounced off the backboard and into the hands of the Colonials’ (4-5) junior forward, who put back an offensive rebound at the buzzer to shock the Terriers (3-6), 64-63.

BU led by nine points before GW scored the final 10 points of the game to steal the victory at the buzzer.

BU’s second half was plagued by 11 turnovers – after only having three giveaways in the first half – allowing GW to score 23 points which sparked the come-from-behind win.

The Terriers were unable to snap a three-game losing streak despite an outstanding performance by senior forward Max Mahoney, who scored a game-high 17 points and pulled down six rebounds.

BU head coach Joe Jones said the team performed well for the majority of the game, but the team has to learn how to finish games.

“I thought we played well for 30 minutes,” Jones said. “In the second half they turned up their intensity and we ended up turning the ball over and I thought that was a big part of the game … Down the stretch, we have to learn how to put people away, make plays, got to get rebounds, got to make foul shots.”

Each team traded blows to start the first half, with GW taking an early 5-2 lead before the Terriers jumped ahead on six straight points — four from Mahoney.

BU extended its lead to seven points after back-to-back threes from junior guard Andrew Petcash.

The Colonials were able to fight back with an 11-2 run which gave GW two more foul shots and possession of the ball, giving them the lead 24-22.

The Terriers wasted no time retaking the lead at 33-28, as they went on an 11-4 run of their own, which was highlighted by a two-handed Mahoney jam.

BU jumped out to a 35-28 lead at the break, paced by Mahoney with a team-high eight points, while GW junior guard Maceo Jack led all scorers at the half with nine points.

Terrier sophomore guard Alex Vilarino put an impressive first half effort in, with six points and four assists along with two rebounds.

BU took its first double-digit lead three minutes into the second half. Junior guard Javante McCoy converted a Vilarino-assisted layup to put the Terriers up 40-30.

In the first six minutes of the second half, the Terriers committed five fouls after only being called for three in the first half, allowing GW to cut the lead in half at 42-37.

The Colonials stormed all the way back to take a 45-44 lead with a 15-4 run sparked by multiple steals and finished by a dunk by freshman guard Jameer Nelson that sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

Jones said the second half turnovers were not a result of major defensive changes from GW but from an increase in backcourt pressure.

“They just pressured the ball more, that’s all they did,” Jones said. “We had a hard time making plays against their pressure. In the halfcourt they started denying some passes and made it hard to run our offense and we struggled.”

Mahoney would not let GW hold the lead for long though. BU’s leading scorer poured in three quick points to put the Terriers up by one, 51-50, with eight minutes left to play.

McCoy gave the Terriers some breathing room over the next few minutes. He nailed a deep wide-open three to put BU up 59-54 going into the final four minutes.

The Terrier lead extended to nine points with 2:33 left in the game, but the Colonials were not done just yet. A free throw, a layup and a long three-pointer cut the BU lead down to 63-60 with 1:09 left to play.

A BU turnover led to two GW foul shots cutting the lead down to just one point with a minute left to play after leading by nine just two minutes earlier.

The Terriers were unable to convert on the following possession, which gave the Colonials the ball with 20 seconds left and the ball at half court after a timeout.

GW was unable to make a layup in an open lane, but the ball bounced off a Terrier and gave the Colonials another chance to win.

An open three was no good, but Langarica battled for the rebound and put the ball off the glass in for the game-winner.

The Terriers will look to snap the four-game skid and finish up their six-game road trip with a Dec. 7 matinee at Binghamton in Vestal, New York.

Jones said the team can learn from this loss and that an early losing streak won’t hold the team down.

“It’s a long season. I thought we took some steps in the right direction in terms of playing with some toughness,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep getting better. I’ve been doing this for a long time and you can’t get down, you’ve got to stay up, you’ve got to keep plugging away.”

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